May 9, 2010

En Route to Saumur - May 9 (Part I)

Our favourite activity is to hop in the car and head out.  We sometimes follow a map, sometimes listen to Marge (our GPS guide), or sometimes just go where the car will lead us.  This is an adventure, after all!

We headed north to Saumur and stopped at a beautiful little town on the way called Coudray-Macouard.  Saw this little house (ok, not so little) that seemed so lovely we had hoped it was for sale - but it wasn't.

Upon arrival in Saumur, we absolutely needed some sustenance before carrying on, so we found this charming little bistro where OK (Oncle Karl) had his favourite sauerkraut and sausages, and I had a Salade Parisienne.  The photo is dark, but it was actually light and inviting inside.

Saumur is celebrated for its fairytale château, cavalry school, mushrooms, and sparkling wines.  Its stone mansions recall the city's 17th-century heyday, when it was a bastion of Protestantism and vied with Angers as the intellectual capital of Anjou.

High above the town and river is the turreted Château de Saumur.  The present structure was started in the 14th century by Louis I of Anjou and remodeled later by his grandson, King René.  Collections include medieval sculpture and equestrian exhibits.

It was a windy day... a VERY windy day!

Here I am at the drawbridge, ready to enter.

These are the old barracks.  No luxury here!

The well and the watering trough for the horses.  The picture does not show the wheels that draw the buckets up, but they're there, behind all the vegetation.

There's so much to see in Saumur and we didn't even have time to go inside the château.  We'll definitely be coming back. 

~ AM

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